Regional Director statement on monkeypox – World

8 June 2022 – Cases of monkeypox in non-endemic countries around the world continue to rise, with 780 confirmed cases reported from 27 countries as of 2 June. No deaths have been reported during the current outbreak. In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, a total of 14 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported from two countries: 13 cases in the United Arab Emirates and one case in Morocco.

WHO’s Regional Office is working with health authorities in these two countries to manage the current outbreak and prevent further transmission through increased surveillance and contact tracing, as well as providing that health care workers are protected as they treat infectious patients. All patients are now isolated until they recover, usually within a few weeks with supportive treatment.

We are also working with these countries to increase awareness among potentially affected communities, as well as health care providers and laboratory workers, which is essential for identifying and preventing further secondary cases and effectively managing the current outbreak.

Right now, these outbreaks can be stopped. But it is critically important for countries to support health services and to stop forward transmission from the cases.

In countries where no confirmed cases have been reported, WHO is working with health authorities to increaseness, including raising public awareness about the disease and its symptoms, prepared measures to quickly detect health care workers are able to detect and isolate suspect cases, and building up laboratory capacities for fast diagnosis of suspect cases.

While travel restrictions are not recommended by WHO, we urge anyone who feels ill during or after travel to countries in west and central Africa where the disease is endemic to report to a health professional.

It’s possible for any person who has come into close physical contact with a person infected with monkeypox to become infected. The virus spreads mainly through close physical contact being exposed to infectious ulcers, lesions, or sores on the skin or in the mouth or throat.

Monkeypox is a disease that is new to our Region, and we are coordinating closely with WHO HQ and other WHO Regions to learn more about why it is now appearing in countries that are non-endemic for monkeypox. The situation is evolving rapidly, and epidemiological investigations are still ongoing. For now, WHO has assessed the overall public health risk as moderate at both the global and regional levels. We continue to closely monitor the situation, and will keep you regularly updating as new information comes in.

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